Venue: McElwain Psychology Bldg. room 302
Seminar Title: An Investigation into the Processes and Outcomes of Meditation Practice
Meditation practices date back as far as the third millennium BC. (Santina, 1999) and in modern times claim hundreds of millions of practitioners worldwide (Duerr, 2004). These practices evolved within specific religious and spiritual contexts as techniques to achieve enhanced spiritual and psychological functioning. Meditation has been of scientific interest since the 1950s with some researchers estimating as many as a thousand publications on meditation already exist (Lutz et al., 2007). However, there are several prominent gaps and limitations in the research literature to date including limited conceptualisation and operationalisation of meditation practice, a restricted range of outcomes under investigation, the lack of exploration of variables that mediate these outcomes, and several methodological flaws. Therefore, the present research will attempt to address these issues by (1) measuring multiple components of meditation practice, (2) examine a variety of theoretically-derived outcome variables with emphasis on positive outcomes such as well-being and psychological development, and (3) propose and test two theoretical models which outline the specific outcomes expected from meditation practice as well as mechanisms underlying these. The methodology will involve a series of cross-sectional correlational field studies.